Agatha Christie’s 1958 novel, Ordeal by Innocence, will be brought to life in a new Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Ltd drama for BBC One and Amazon Studios, with the first episode to air at 9pm on BBC One in the UK on Sunday 1st April. Amazon Studios will show the drama at a later date in the US, to be confirmed.
Adapted by Sarah Phelps, the new three-part drama features an impressive all-star ensemble cast including Bill Nighy.
The story begins in 1954 when wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll is murdered at her family estate Sunny Point. Her adopted son Jack Argyll, a young delinquent, is arrested for her murder. He vehemently protests his innocence. Eighteen months later, Dr Arthur Calgary, a scientist, walks onto the velvety lawns of Sunny Point claiming to have just returned from an expedition to the Arctic. Even more extraordinary is his claim to hold the alibi that can prove Jack’s innocence. But Jack died in prison before the case could come to trial, and the Argyll family is reluctant to dig up the secrets of the past. Rachel’s widower Leo is about to remarry his secretary Gwenda and none of Rachel’s other adopted children Mary, Mickey, Tina or Hester, nor longstanding housekeeper Kirsten, is willing to reopen that most horrendous chapter of their lives. However, the shattering implications of Calgary’s story are too big to avoid; if he is telling the truth then the wrong person was arrested for Rachel’s murder. And if Jack was not the killer, then it must have been somebody else at Sunny Point.